Which is better – ondulin or metal tile? Compare the 7 operational characteristics

Selecting the appropriate roofing material is essential for both improving the aesthetic appeal of your home and shielding it from the elements. The choice between metal tile and ondulin depends on a number of important operational factors. Knowing these things will enable you to choose wisely, taking into account your needs for durability, climate, and affordability.

One kind of bitumen corrugated roofing that is well-liked for its affordability and simplicity of installation is ondulin. It is made up of bitumen-soaked cellulose fibers that are sandwiched between two sheets of paper. Because of its composition, ondulin is both strong and lightweight, able to withstand mild weather. Because of its flexibility, it can be easily shaped to fit a variety of roof designs, including those with intricate roof structures.

Conversely, metal tiles provide a strong, long-lasting, and sleek substitute. Metal tiles, which are usually composed of copper, aluminum, or galvanized steel, are insect- and fire-resistant. They have a very long lifespan; with little care, they can frequently last 50 years or longer. Metal roof tiles are available in an array of designs and hues, providing homeowners with endless options to customize the appearance of their roofs.

Because of its inherent strength and metal composition, metal tile typically outlasts ondulin in terms of lifespan comparison. Compared to ondulin roofs, metal tiles are less likely to fade, warp, or crack over time, keeping their appearance and functionality longer. In the long run, metal roofs may save money because they need fewer replacements and repairs due to their longevity.

Because it is lightweight and easy to handle, ondulin is frequently chosen when it comes to installation complexity. It can be installed faster than metal tile, saving money on labor and shortening installation times. Installing metal tiles, on the other hand, requires more work and may be more expensive initially, but once in place, they offer better accuracy and durability, making them a reliable barrier against inclement weather.

Ondulin and metal tiles both have different levels of thermal insulation. Because of its layered structure, ondulin offers some insulation from heat and cold, enhancing home energy efficiency. Metal tiles provide better thermal regulation by reflecting sunlight to keep interiors cooler in hot climates and retaining warmth in the winter, especially when installed with insulation materials.

There are advantages to both metal and ondulin tile when it comes to environmental impact. Since Ondulin is frequently made of recycled materials, it encourages environmentally friendly roofing solutions. Even though they require a lot of energy to produce at first, metal tiles are completely recyclable when their useful life is over, which lessens their environmental impact and promotes environmentally friendly building techniques.

The decision between metal tile and ondulin ultimately comes down to your personal priorities and needs. Ondulin might be the best choice if affordability and simplicity of installation are your top priorities. Metal tile provides homeowners looking for longevity, durability, and superior aesthetic appeal with a strong solution that can withstand a variety of weather conditions while increasing your home’s curb appeal and overall value.

Operational Characteristic Comparison between Ondulin and Metal Tile
1. Cost Ondulin generally costs less than metal tile initially.
2. Durability Metal tile is typically more durable and long-lasting compared to Ondulin.
3. Installation Ease Ondulin is easier and quicker to install than metal tile.
4. Maintenance Ondulin requires less maintenance compared to metal tile, which may need periodic checks and repairs.
5. Insulation Metal tile provides better insulation properties compared to Ondulin.
6. Aesthetics Metal tile offers a wider range of styles and colors compared to Ondulin.
7. Lifespan Metal tile generally has a longer lifespan than Ondulin when properly maintained.

Paragraph 1. Raw materials: measurable quality

Let’s go back to the beginning. Describe a metal tile. These are formed metal sheets that have multiple layers of decoration applied to them. These sheets are relatively lightweight, don’t need an additional supporting structure, and resemble ondulin in that they have extra features that make installation easier.

Steel, aluminum, and copper are the three primary metals used to make modern metal tiles.

  • Steel, although durable, requires additional application of the anti -corrosion tread on both the wrong side and on the front side.
  • Aluminum. This material is not afraid of corrosion, is available in price and is covered only with paint.
  • You do not need to color copper, especially if you like the color of the patina. But such a roof will cost, of course, more expensive, but it serves for a long time.

Nowadays, metal tiles with a thickness of 0.4 to 0.7 mm are produced using leaf rental for the middle-class market. Such a sheet is primed, further treated, and, if it is made of steel, galvanized on both sides to prevent corrosion.

The front side of the sheet is coated with a color polymer for this purpose, and the colored material is then fed into a specialized machine. Varnish is sometimes applied to the back of the metal tile sheet as well.

Because of this, a metal tile from the top manufacturer has up to eight protective layers on top and three to four layers below. Additionally, the presence and characteristics of each layer, the consistency with which they are applied, and the quantity of processing steps will all have a direct impact on the final sheet’s quality.

However, the metal itself in a sheet is not very important. You might wonder, why? Because leaf steel is now mostly ordered from different companies, but still from the same factories.

In the factory, the metal tile is formed as follows after coloring:

This machine is employed for these kinds of jobs. Furthermore, he must meet stringent requirements for precise geometry for deflection. In the event that there are mistakes, the sheets are overlapped and folded together. This is the key difference between the real and counterfeit metal tiles.

In the literal sense of the word (i.e., we are not discussing analogs at this point), these materials are roofing sheets made from processed cellulose. It is painted with polymers and impregnated with bitumen in the factory:

In Russia, this type of coating is referred to as a "Euro-shifer," but the most well-known brand that makes them claims that "Ondulin" is the more commonly known name.

Naturally, the recent financial crisis has had a negative impact on both the metallic segment’s growth and the roofing materials market as a whole. The durability and quality of roofing materials are particularly pressing issues right now.

Metal tiles are comparable to bitumen in price and share a similar limited color palette, profile, and texture options. In terms of aesthetic compatibility with different finishing materials for construction, the metal tile falls short.

Point 2. Strength: static and dynamic loads

The raw materials have a direct impact on both of their strengths. Take note of how distinct these roofing sealants are:

Naturally, metal has always seemed like a trustworthy substance. Even equating it with cardboard is strange! However, all of it demonstrates a basic strength test:

What is going on? Ondulin can regain its shape because bitumen is flexible, but metal tiles cannot be straightened after a "collision" like this. Examine the outcome of this test:

In terms of numbers, the average metal tile, according to some manufacturers, weighs 270 kg per square meter, while ondulin is intended to withstand loads of up to 960 kg per square meter.

Naturally, it makes sense that the word "metal" would conjure images of something sturdy and dependable. Indeed, this material was always trusted and used quite actively in the Soviet Union. Unfortunately, you will be shocked to see how tiny a sample of metal tiles is if you simply take a look at its thickness. Because the sheet is easily damaged, that is why working with her during installation is so challenging!

For metal tiles, the typical sheet thickness is between 0.45 and 0.6 mm. Overly thin sheets run the risk of becoming deformed and cracked at the break, and they literally start to leak within a year.

Naturally, the steel sheet will be stronger if we are discussing extremely high-quality foreign products, but the cost of such a roof is significantly more than that of the same ondulin.

On the other hand, roofers dislike extremely thick sheets, so this is the other side of the story. These are a little flexible, and the sheet hesitates as a whole if its thickness is increased by several micrometers or more. It has to do with metal! and stops making adjustments for the rafter system.

Either way, in one price range, both materials are reasonable to take into account. The metal roof then loses strength when it comes to bitumen. After all, in order to reduce production costs, rolling sheets are now made as thin as possible. Ultimately, stepping on such a tile will cause the wave to bend rather than break.

Furthermore, it is hard to deform even when it hits the ondulin sheets. However, producers of metal tiles advise against using their products in windy conditions because of the possibility of bending!

It can even irritate to treat roofing metal with such reverence. Which makes perfect sense considering that what can we reasonably expect from the sheets during roof operations if they are this fearful of damage?

Then, is it really worth being shocked that the metal roof cannot support the weight of the snow by itself? Yes, the coating’s smoothness makes it easy for the snow hat to come off since it doesn’t have time to build up and push the roof with its weight. However, since they run around the house and into neighboring cars, the pets are already putting themselves in danger.

Not progressively, but all snow with a flawlessly polished metal tile is falling into big hats. This group is referred to as "avalanche-like." In addition, the ondulin has a palpably rough surface, which helps the snow stay there peacefully throughout the winter. It is cleaned or left on the roof, if at all possible. Everything is dependent on how much of a snowy area you live in.

Point 3. Sustainability: protection against mechanical damage

Ads lead us to believe that metal tiles are among the best roofing materials available today in terms of value for money, and that ondulin is valued more highly overseas. Both materials are actually priced similarly when they are sold domestically.

Naturally, it makes sense that producers are vying for market share in the roofing materials industry by contrasting their highest-quality offerings with those that are the most cost-effective. Additionally, it is invariably the least expensive type of competing roofing material in terms of price.

To put it simply, even in unmarked form, pricey, superior metal tiles and sheets of ondulin of incomprehensible production are comparable. In response, there are commercials available in which corporate ondulin competes in fundamental qualities with a thin, faded metal tile that resembles an autumn sheet, once more showing no indications of being made by a manufacturer.

It appears that producers of metal roofing actively demonstrate that their roof is 10, 20, 30, 40, and more years old, looks fantastic, and can withstand up to 50 years of use. Simultaneously, it is not corrosive, fits properly, or is damaged; the only issues arise when non-professionals mount the sheets. However, they contend that Ondulin inevitably ages in the sun, becomes dust, and is essentially out of date even after a year.

Ondulin supporters, for their part, claim that the material has been lying on their dachas for ten to fifteen years and looks extremely neat. In contrast, the neighbors’ metal tile for the second year was covered in rusty streams and has a generally gloomy appearance. Thus, stories and myths spread through the kind of "one neighbor bit a metal tile, and another revealed ondulin."

In actuality, both types of coating will quickly take on a depressing appearance if you use low-quality material and commit specific installation mistakes:

It is also important to consider the requirement for additional sporadic repairs. For instance, a hammer beneath the surface naturally dislikes metal tiles or ondulin:

With fake Ondulin, everything is obvious because it’s still bitumen-saturated cardboard. To put it succinctly, refraction in such a production is simple. However, what becomes of the metal tile? Is it really that flimsy and low-quality for a metal roof?

Experienced roofers claim that a decommissioned rolling machine is currently being used by numerous small European businesses. He ends up being the primary cause of low-quality metal tiles hitting the market.

When a machine reaches 80–90%, it is still functional but can no longer produce a consistent sheet thickness, which results in marriage. However, the primary function of such a machine must be to relieve internal voltage and heat a metal sheet. All of this is no longer possible for a broken, worn-out machine.

Furthermore, there is the issue of steel itself, which is imported into Russia and is increasingly Asian these days. Furthermore, there is a significant difference in steel used in Russian and European products. For instance, steel is made in many European nations with the intention of being used in rooms with ambient humidity and no temperature fluctuations. However, keep in mind that the price of metal tiles is also influenced by the anti-corrosion components that are used, rather than just the steel sheet base. There is a whole science to this.

It’s likely that you were unaware previously that ondulin can also be produced using various structures. Some companies, for instance, make multilayer sheets that are able to withstand direct blows and hold snow loads quite well despite their strength.

Nevertheless, the metal tiles have a longer guarantee than the Ondulin (only 15 years). Experts believe that the stated 30- to 50-year lifespan in the case of a metal tile is overstated. especially taking into account how frequently it needs to be fixed and how much time is spent on this problem.

Clause 4.Design: A variety of shades and shapes

First off, compared to traditional ondulin, metal tiles are obviously much richer in terms of profile forms. Moreover, stiffness and visual perception are both impacted by wave height. Therefore, the corrugated profile—which prominently features round, high waves as stiffness ribs—is thought to have the most fashionable profile.

However, some people believe that the metal tile isn’t that attractive after all. That such coatings look good on the glossy pages of the house catalog and are on par with bitumen or natural material roofs.

Everything is equally harmonious and natural! However, in real life, due to the sun’s glare, this type of roof appears alien and is not a good fit for the house’s exterior. Because this was the norm up until recently, this is how a lot of people think now.

In actuality, modern metal tiles come in a range of coating qualities and prices instead of being depressed by artificial brilliance in the high-tech style. which are legitimately referred to as "delicate cashmere" or "steel silk":

It all comes down to the exclusive tread types manufactured using a range of polymers and sand. They do a pretty good job of mimicking the texture of real tiles:

How do these new metal tile coatings work, and is it really worth the premium price? What is the point? Such a matte surface externally conceals any small flaws and imperfections that frequently show up during the process.

However, these issues are always present with glossy metal tiles. Additionally, the surface is uneven and non-slip even in the rain, making roofing work safe in this area.

Additionally, they include a composite to a different, unique type of metal tiles. The same steel sheet serves as the foundation in this instance, but it has been treated with a unique alloy of silicon, zinc, and aluminum. Finely crumbled natural stone crumbs on top. These tiles are resistant to mechanical influences and perfectly replicate massive natural surfaces. In particular, scratches—which are practically a death sentence for regular metal tiles—

However, let’s be honest: if you have already compared the Ondulin with the metal tile, it makes sense to include Ondulin tiles on the scales rather than just wavy sheets. This is a genuine asphalt tile, with a roughly equivalent format to the metal!

Despite having a counterpart known as the "3D-ondulin," Even though these are all identical wavy sheets in standard sizes, the external coating’s texture and wave profile have already changed. Volumetric embossing, which replicates the waves of tiles, is specifically created for such sheets:

Such an ondulin mimics a natural coating on the roof of the house quite well. More impressive than costly metal tiles, maybe. Furthermore, the manufacturer claims that the new surface now uses more synthetic resin, protecting the sheets from color burnout.

A 3D cover like this has a matte texture that is easier on the eyes than a metal tint, and it looks rich and fashionable. It’s true that every roof is unique in terms of color and taste, so let’s take a closer look at the most well-liked collections of contemporary metal and asphalt tiles:

Clause 5. Noise insulation: the value of silence

Why does the rain cause the metal tile to rumble so much? The issue is that a fairly thin sheet fluctuates as a result of drops, producing sound. Additionally, the roof rumbles like a real drum during periods of heavy rain.

Completely different circumstances involving Ondulin. The first, as we’ve already mentioned, is made of elastic bitumen, which completely eliminates the sheet’s fluctuations on its own. Furthermore, keep in mind that Ondulin is substantially thicker than a metal tile:

In response to all of this, the manufacturer says that metal roofs are inherently loud when installation mistakes are made. For instance, out of fear that the rubber gasket would burst, not enough fasteners were used, or the bolts were not tightened enough.

Additionally, it occasionally occurs that the sheets do not fit the crate or each other snugly. In this instance, the rain and hail create a loud noise that amplifies the vibration of the sheets to everything, and the metal tile actually walks on stilts.

However, keep in mind that the roofs over the living rooms are partially, if not entirely, heat-insulated, providing additional noise protection.

It’s important to compare the performance of Onduline and metal roofing tiles across seven critical operational characteristics. Renowned for its resilience to weather and durability, Onduline provides superior noise reduction and thermal insulation, making it the perfect choice for a variety of climates. Metal tiles, on the other hand, have excellent fire resistance, longevity, and aesthetic appeal with low maintenance requirements. The installation complexity and cost of both materials vary, which affects their suitability depending on project scope and budget. Comprehending these characteristics aids homeowners and builders in making well-informed decisions based on particular requirements, climate factors, and expectations for long-term durability.

Clause 6. Waterproofing: the danger of leaks

Let’s examine another factor that sets metal tiles and ondulin apart drastically: reliability versus leaks. This has an impact on a crucial issue like waterproofing.

The truth is that if you purchase a product of exceptionally high quality, every sheet will have a distinct geometry and be simple to mount against one another securely enough to prevent water leakage into a subcutaneous space. And joints exposed to water will be unmeasured if you buy cheap sheets or entirely fake ones. The ondulin is more adaptable at the same time, and only one format is ever generated.

Additionally, the metal tile is in the lower wave and Ondulin is always attached to the upper wave:

For what reason is that the case? Such a fastener technique is required in the case of a metal tile so that she doesn’t distort sheets, stays firmly screwed to the crate, and doesn’t crumble in the wind.

Ultimately, the all-metal sheet’s paroor is known. Ondulin, however, is a part of the upper wave. This offers a useful benefit: since the rain does not hang on the upper ribs but instead runs in streams through the niches, any nails or screws inside are always vulnerable to leaks. Because of this, water flows exert constant pressure on all of the screws in the metallic tiles.

There’s this really fascinating moment. The manufacturer claims that because the bitumen in the euro-hassle gently envelops and presses the nail on the sides, there is absolutely no possibility of a leak.

Simultaneously, a rubber gasket serves as the sole barrier against water in metal tiles. However, this mount is gradually spanning because the metal tile can expand and contract based on the season. After one to five years, there are leaks because the rubber gasket in the screw becomes brittle and is slightly destroyed.

This can occur at any property, with any owner, and with a metal tile. All fasteners need to be protected with silicone sealant and tightened gradually. Ondulin, however, does not require any action. And all because the mount is situated in the higher wave. Rusty streams will never cover such a roof, and self-tapping screw hats don’t need to be covered in anything.

This presents yet another challenge when installing metal tiles. Even the manufacturer advises leaving this process to experts only to avoid annoying mistakes.

It’s not just about screws that self-tap! For instance, the most frequent error made by home masters is to use an abrasive circle on a grinder to cut metal sheets. In this instance, the zinc is present in addition to the upper polymer coating because of the high temperature. The intense rusty drips that follow on the sheets are also threatened by all of this.

To be fair, we should point out that the producers of these materials are currently actively addressing the problem of their coatings’ dependable waterproofing and creating new technical solutions:

Your decision between metal tile and ondulin for your roof should be based on a number of important functional factors.

First, think about durability. Metal tile is resistant to weathering factors like wind, hail, and UV rays, which makes it often last longer than ondulin. Usually composed of steel or aluminum, metal tiles have a longer lifespan than ondulin, which can break down more quickly in adverse environments.

Consider maintenance next. Over time, Ondulin requires less maintenance than metal tile, which may require sporadic inspections for rust or damage. Because of its easy-to-clean composition and corrosion resistance, Ondulin is a low-maintenance option for homeowners.

Another consideration is cost-effectiveness. Although metal tile requires more upkeep over time due to its longer lifespan, ondulin is often a more economical option in the short term. When making this choice, take your long-term financial goals and budget into account.

Due to its composition, ondulin generally performs better for thermal insulation than metal tile, offering better protection against heat and cold. This element has a big impact on your home’s comfort level all year round and energy efficiency.

Every material has advantages and disadvantages when it comes to installation. Because Ondulin is lighter and easier to handle, installation labor costs may be lower with this material. Despite being heavier, metal tile offers a more accurate fit and finish; this may call for skilled labor, but the result is a tight, weather-tight roof.

Although subjective, appearance is important. Enhancing curb appeal, metal tiles frequently provide a sleek, contemporary appearance in a variety of color options. Those looking for a traditional, rustic look for their home might find Ondulin more appealing due to its traditional profile and limited color selection.

Take the environment’s impact last. Ondulin is a more environmentally friendly option because it is usually composed of recycled materials and is recyclable in and of itself. Even though metal tile is more resilient than other materials, it can still be recycled when its useful life is coming to an end.

The decision between metal tile and ondulin ultimately comes down to your priorities, which may include environmental concerns, budgetary constraints, longevity, upkeep, and aesthetic preferences. You can choose the roofing material that best fits your needs and preferences by carefully weighing these factors.

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Denis Shcherbakov

Professional roofer with 20 years of experience. I know everything about the installation, repair and maintenance of various types of roofs. I will be happy to share my knowledge and experience with you.

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